Bold Prayer

Abraham drew near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city."
GENESIS 18:23-24
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Bold Prayer
It is a forceful and impulsive prayer, as if Abraham wanted to compel God to forgive. Surely it is well known that because of one righteous man God spares, and shows kindness to, an entire house, city, and region. Thus Syria flourished while Naaman was living. Egypt is blessed because of Joseph, and Laban is blessed because of Jacob. And would God really forget Himself to such an extent that He would have no regard for fifty righteous men? . . . "Far be this from Thee!" he says, as though he wanted to tell God what He should do, just as he adds: "Will not He who judges the entire earth do what is right?" To do what is right means to punish evildoers and to spare the innocent. "And this," says he, "behooves Thee especially. Thou judgest the entire earth. But what sort of right is it to bring even innocent people to trial?" This is surely a bold and impulsive request. Abraham reminds God of His duty to spare the righteous and, because of the righteous, even the wicked. Accordingly, the Lord answers and promises that He will have mercy if there are fifty righteous men. For He is pleased with the fervent prayer in which faith and love are so manifest. But when Abraham hears that fifty are not found, he is somewhat frightened. Nevertheless, he continues to pray.
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